BETONG: An opposition candidate’s tactic to stir up racial politics in his attempt to woo Malay voters here has earned the wrath of three GPS assemblymen in the ongoing election campaign.
Saribas assemblyman Mohd Razi Sitam, Satok assemblyman Datuk Ibrahim Baki and Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman have roundly condemned such moves.
All three spoke against the dangers of racial politics in a multi-racial, multi-religious society like Sarawak as they joined GPS candidate for Betong, Dr Richard Rapu on his campaign rounds and visited Kampung Belingan and Kampung Sebemban in Spaoh on Tuesday (Nov 15).
In calling the voters to reject such politics, Mohd Razi said GPS offers them the best platform to further strengthen their unity.
“We have multi-racial leaders in GPS and they have not only complemented but augmented each other’s efforts in the nation building process perfectly.
“For Sarawak to continue developing, our unity, harmony and stability are the crucial pre-requisites,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim said exploiting racial issues was like playing with fire.
“When it gets out of control, it can be very disastrous. We need to treasure and nurture the strong racial and religious ties that we have enjoyed all this while.
“This is a privilege unique to us in the country. Let us not be influenced by an obnoxious political style brought in from outside the state,” he said.
In his speech Fazzrudin said there were about 30 different ethnic groups in Sarawak and all have been living together in perfect harmony and unity.
“But I am sad to note that there is a move to use racial issues in fishing for votes in Betong. This is not only irresponsible but very dangerous too. If people are not careful, they can be impacted negatively.
“Let us all check this unhealthy development. The GPS will fight any effort to wreck Sarawak’s racial and religious harmony and unity,” he pointed out.
The trio also said although Betong parliamentary constituency comprising the state constituencies of Layar, Bukit Saban and Saribas has been a traditional fortress for the government, they were not leaving anything to chance.
“As our Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg had said he wanted as many GPS representatives in parliament, we want to ensure this,” Ibrahim added.
On Dr Richard’s candidacy, all three agreed he is the best man for the job given his wide experience as a political secretary at both federal( May 2008 to May 2016) and at state (from 2016 onwards) levels, his qualification as a trained veterinarian and as a businessman.
There are altogether about 200 longhouses and 24 Malay villages besides a sprinkling of Chinese households mainly in town areas.
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